Social Sciences

A good read?

Pile of booksImage credit: Pam loves pie

How do you make the reading you do in your own time count? One way to help yourself think independently and engage critically with your reading is to start or join a reading group. Take your inspiration from Radio 4's A Good Read, where the presenter and her two guests each choose a book they've enjoyed reading, introducing it to and discussing it with the others. Why not swap recommendations with a friend and meet to discuss your responses to each other's choice?

Date posted: 

Friday 16 June 2017

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Law virtual classroom

If you want to study Law at university and have not studied the subject formally before, you might enjoy Pembroke College's virtual classroom.

Through exercises in the Understanding Law and Legal Skills sections, this resource aims to give you a better understanding of the nature and function of law, as well as some of the debates that surround the law. It will also help you to develop some of the skills involved in studying and practising law.

Date posted: 

Thursday 8 June 2017

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Use your local library!

Student studying in King's College Library

King's graduate Zadie Smith (English, 1994-1997) celebrated and defended local libraries in this 2012 essay, explaining that:

"Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay."

At Cambridge, our students have 114 libraries to choose from.  You can take a virtual tour of the King's College Library and watch Cambridge students' quest for the perfect desk.

As your exams come to an end and a lovely, long Summer beckons, you'll have more time to read around your subject.  If you don't already use your local library, you will find out where it is and what it has to offer here.  If your local library doesn't have what you're looking for, you can request an inter-library loan.

Your local university library may be able to help, too.  For example, Newcastle University's Sixth Form Access Scheme provides reference facilities for Year 12s and 13s in the North East of England. 

Date posted: 

Tuesday 6 June 2017

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Reading lists!

Books on a bookshelf

Doing some reading is a good way to develop your academic interests, but don't get overwhelmed! Credit: Les Chatfield

We're sometimes asked for advice about what prospective students should read.

If you are looking for reading suggestions (particularly as you approach the summer, when you may have a bit more time), you may find the reading lists for all subjects in the offer-holders' section useful. Depending on your subject, you will find useful book sugestions or problem-solving websites and other advice. These 'lists' can be particularly useful if you don't know where to start, or if you'll be studying a subject at Cambridge that you don't already study at school, such as Human, Social and Political Sciences, Law, Philosophy, Engineering, Linguistics, Medicine or Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.

Do:

  1. Be yourself and follow your interests
    None of the Cambridge courses have books that you have to read before you apply, so if you've already found some material that you're finding interesting and engaging, and is developing your academic interests, don't stop!
  2. Make a few brief notes
    Making a list of the points that interest you, or any thoughts on the arguments you encounter, is a good thing to do as you read if you can (even if you keep them very brief). This will help you to remember the most important points, and also to notice where your interests lie.
  3. Explain to somebody else
    Are you taking it in? A good way to ensure that you've understood something is to try to explain it to somebody else. Do you have any friends or relatives who might be interested in what you're reading? If you can explain the main points in an idea to somebody who does not know about the subject, that is normally a good sign that you've got it clear in your own head!

Try to avoid:

  1. Being daunted
    The lists we provide are meant to be helpful for those looking for suggestions. We're not trying to overwhelm you. Just like the kinds of suggestions you get from supervisors and lecturers when you're studying at Cambridge, some of the subject lists are quite long so that you can pick and choose according to your interests. Don't be put off by this!
  2. The tick-box approach
    The important point about your reading is not which books you've read but what you get out of them. So our advice is: don't rush to read as many books as possible in order to tick them off a reading list. It is much more important that you take time to enjoy the material and think about it. Remember that the best things to mention on the personal statement or your UCAS application form are the things that genuinely interest you.

Date posted: 

Friday 26 May 2017

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God-Curious: Asking Eternal Questions

The Dean of King’s Stephen Cherry, has this week published a book intended to encourage sixth formers to consider studying theology. Called God-Curious: Asking Eternal Questions, the book came out of Stephen’s observation that, ‘on the whole, introductory books about theology are not as interesting or attractive as the subject itself.’

So, encouraged by our undergraduate admissions team, Stephen wrote some material for the King’s website that put forward the idea that theology is fascinating, fun and important: 

Stephen explains how the book itself emerged.

‘I was aware, as I wrote the new webpages, that there are those who think that theology is only possibly of interest to people who follow one religion or another. So I also wrote some material that made the point that even if you think religion is absurd it’s not going to go away any time soon, so it might be good idea to discover a bit more about how it all hangs together.

I hadn’t been writing for long when I realised that I had more than a few webpages on my hands and so – partly because I had just broken my ankle – I decided to see what happened if I tried to write something more extensive. It wasn’t long before I had the first draft of a little book that argued that theology is fascinating, fun and important, and that it is, in fact, the antidote to fundamentalism.’

Stephen has written more extensively about the book on his blog Another Angle.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 21 February 2017

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Robert Walker Prize for Essays in Law 2017

Law books

Find out about Cambridge Law on the course website.

Students interested in applying for Law have a great opportunity coming up to engage with their subject beyond what they are doing at their school at the moment.

Trinity College has launched the Robert Walker Prize for Essays in Law in 2013. The prize is named after an Honorary Fellow of the College, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and former law student at Trinity.

The Robert Walker Prize has three objectives:

  •     to encourage students with an interest in Law to explore that interest by researching, considering and developing an argument about a legal topic of importance to modern society
  •     to encourage those interested in Law to apply for a university course in Law; and
  •     to recognise the achievements of high-calibre students, from whatever background they may come.

The topic for this year’s competition will be announced on Monday 6 February 2017 and the deadline for submission is Monday 24 April 2017.

The full list details of the competition are available on the Trinity College website.

Good luck to those who enter the competition!

Date posted: 

Tuesday 31 January 2017

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Spies, Trolls, Drones and Polls: Being(s) in Cyberspace

Credit: Hillary

The University of Hull is offering a series of talks about Ethics and Rights in Cyberspace.

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, "The Common Good: Ethics and Rights in Cyber Security" project seeks to understand where the balance lies between security and ethics in digital governance.  If the recent controversies surrounding U.S. governmental surveillance and implicated technology companies demonstrated anything, it is the need for proportionate, just and effective cyber security in digital governance that is committed to the common good.

The talks are free, but booking is required. Details and booking can be found on their webpage.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 24 January 2017

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Sutton Trust Summer Schools (Year 12)

Bodley's Court lawn

Would you like to explore your subject interest in deepth? Then the Year 12 Sutton Trust Summer Schools might be just the thing for you.

The Cambridge Sutton Trust Summer Schools are week-long, subject-specific residentials, where you live and study as a Cambridge student. You’ll stay in your own private student room within a Cambridge College, eat with other Summer School students in the canteens and socialise in the common rooms.

During the day, you’ll be in your academic department, where you’ll be taught by world-leading experts in your subject. They’ll guide you through new areas of study, introducing you to the depth and breadth of a Cambridge undergraduate course.

The programme includes a wide variety of courses in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and applications are open 9 January 2017 to 2 March 2017! For more information please see Sutton Trust Summer Schools

 

Date posted: 

Friday 13 January 2017

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Plenty of places still available for King's open afternoon next Tuesday

open day group

We still have plenty of places available for the King's open afternoon next Tuesday (20 September). This event is for students who will be applying to Cambridge this October.  Please see our open days page for further details and to book a place. This is an opportunity for you to get to know the college a little better. There will be a talk, subject sessions, the chance to chat to current King's students and a tour of the college.

Date posted: 

Wednesday 14 September 2016

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